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Despite there being 2,823 emojis in the Unicode Standard, the thirst for ways to express emotion digitally appears insatiable. Even more so now, with the creation of Emoji Builder, a tool allowing users to design their own emojis, complete with a randomising function. We explore the insights behind the innovation to understand how digital communication is evolving and how people want more and more ways to express themselves authentically.

Emoji Builder is a tool that lets users create custom emojis, Mr. Potato Head-style, from a selection of head, eye, mouth, and accessory features like glasses and party hats. Created by Stripe engineer Philipp Antoni, it may not be the most extensive range – it’s most blonde hair and yellow skin tones – but proves that even with the addition of 72 emojis to iOS 12.1at the beginning of November – there is still room for experimentation with digital expression.

Emoji help people express themselves beyond words Emoji help people express themselves beyond words
Monzo (2018) ©

With 700 million emojis used on Facebook posts each day, and many more in texts and Whatsapp messages, plus a World Emoji Day to celebrate the phenomenon, it’s clear emoji-speak is here to stay. But with only 2,823 emojis in the Unicode Standard, people want more ways of expressing themselves. With 59% of people more comfortable expressing their emotions through emojis than voicing them in phone conversations, there is plenty of demand for more emojis – and more personalized emojis too. The creation of Emoji Builder and the rise of animojis serves the compulsion of users to create individual ways of expressing themselves in the way they wish to be seen.


Megan Carnegie is the Librar Editor at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioral insights and consumer research.


23 Nov 18
2 min read

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